Axes of excellence: a role for students as community-engaged scholars

The four axes of excellence in scholarship are discovery,integration, application, and teaching (Boyer 1990).Yet the predominant currency of recognition, prestige,and mobility in science is publication in top-tier acade-mic journals (Bedeian 1996). For both faculty and stu-dents, this creates a significant barrier to engagement incommunity-based scholarship. As competition for lim-ited science positions increases pressure to publish, weearly career scientists may find ourselves with less timeto excel in all four aspects of scholarship.Here, we share our own experiences of engaging incommunity-based service by integrating contributionsinto our theses and by leveraging non-thesis opportuni-ties encountered during graduate studies. We definecommunity contributions as the innovative outputs thathelp to fulfill scientists’ social contract (Denning 1997)with communities. Such contributions include, but arenot limited to, peer-reviewed publications, applied prod-ucts (eg tools), and dissemination of information tocommunities (Calleson et al. 2005).

Morgan, S. K., Curtis, J. M. & A.C.J. Vincent (2008). Axes of excellence: a role for students as community‐engaged scholars. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6(2): 105-106.[105:AOEARF]2.0.CO;2